[A’pieu] Icing Sweet Bar Sheet Mask Review

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Hello, my lovely beauties! And many, many apologies for such a long period of absence. I had a few things going on in the past two months that totally knocked me off my feet and I had to work hard to pull myself together. As many of you may know, I lost my only and very close grandmother and my mom was diagnosed with cancer a month after that and had a surgery fairly recently. Please, pray for her. 🙏

Due to the circumstances, I went silent here, on my social media and with skincare, sticking just to the basics. But I finally managed to get back to enjoying skincare and writing about it and so here’s a review after over two-month absence.

I tried this A’pieu Icing Sweet Bar Sheet Mask fairly recently (well, yesterday) so the review is as comprehensive as I could get it. And, obviously, very honest. I hope you enjoy it.

 

About the sheet mask

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According to the packaging, the sheet mask is designed to provide the skin with hydration, to make it brighter and more translucent. It’s made of Tencel fabric (cellulose) that is meant to adhere to the skin well. The serum the sheet is soaked in (and it’s soaked really generously, with the serum dripping when unfolding the mask) is transparent and watery. The ingredients of the sheet mask’s serum are listed below (matching the ones on the product’s label).

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Betaine, Sea Water, Sodium Hyaluronate, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Junos Fruit Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Coix Lacryma-Jobi Ma-yuen Seed Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Allantoin, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Dimethicone, Arginine, C12-14 Pareth-12, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Carbomer, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance

 

 

My thoughts

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So, after a short introduction to the product, let’s move into what I think about the sheet mask. First, the appearance. Can I just say how cute and yummy-looking the packaging is? After the first short glimpse at it, it made me want to eat it straight away and, when I finally opened it and smelled that delicious citrusy smell, I suddenly felt like I’m in the middle of the summer, somewhere on the beach, eating an orange fruit salad. Such a reinvigorating and pleasing smell!

The packaging was relatively easy to crack open (on the picture above you can see how clean the tear is- it was really easy to tear it apart) but unfolding wasn’t as much. The sheet was quite thin and so well-soaked in the essence that I had to do it over the sink not to spill anything on the carpet. But the dripping of the serum is always a good sign- it means the sheet mask won’t get dry quickly and you can easily enjoy that 20 or even 30 minutes relax with the mask on.

When I finally put it on the face, it adhered quite well but the cut wasn’t one of the best- my under eye area wasn’t covered at all because the cut was too small. The rest of the face was thoroughly covered with minor creases due to the imperfect cut but that wasn’t too bothersome to me.

I left the A’pieu mask on for 15 minutes. After I removed it, I tapped the remaining serum into my skin. It left a slightly tacky feeling but that too was bearable and I could put on my moisturizer after a few minutes without feeling I’m overwhelming my skin.

Now, let’s go back to the ingredients because this is something I pay close attention to when I use any skincare/beauty product. But particularly skincare products. All of the ingredients of A’pieu Icing Sweet Bar Sheet Mask are very safe (according to CosDna), apart from Fragrance which to some people may cause adverse skin reactions. It also contains a silicone (Dimethicone); however, although some people may be allergic to silicones, they don’t tend to cause/worsen acne nor do they seem to clog pores, unlike some popular beliefs claim.

Aside from that, the sheet mask is full of wonderful ingredients. It’s got Betaine (a gentle hydrating ingredient), Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid derivative that also acts as a potent hydrating ingredient), 9 plant extracts, including Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Fruit Extract and Citrus Junos Fruit Extract (both providing the skin with vitamin C), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract (anti-inflammatory properties), Panax Ginseng Root Extract(boosts skin hydration, diminishes rough texture, helps fade uneven skin tone, and help visibly improve wrinkles by working within skin to bolster its natural firmness), Aloe Leaf Extract (soothes the skin) and Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (potent antioxidant properties). The vitamin C delivered by the first two plant extracts helps to reduce the discolouration and brightens the skin. Additionally, Allantoin and Arginine, both act as great hydrating ingredients while boosting collagen production (Arginine) and increasing skin smoothness (Allantoin).

 

So, what were the results? My skin definitely looked healthier and more hydrated. It was bouncy, smooth and happy. 🙂 However, I didn’t notice any brightening effect or maybe there was one but I’m used to seeing better effects with a more potent vitamin C serum from Purito (the review will be coming soon). I was expecting something more but I guess you can’t get much with just a single use and such a vitamin C concentration. Anyway, I did enjoy this A’pieu Icing Sweet Bar Sheet Mask not just in terms of the packaging and its aesthetics but also in terms of the hydration and the healthy look it gave me. It’d definitely recommend trying this mask, if you have a chance. Or maybe you already have tried it? Let me know in the comments. 😉

 

 

If you liked the post, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook where I post daily. And if you’d like to buy me a cup of coffee or support me with running the website, there’s a donation button on the right side of the site. Thank you! 😀

 

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[Bellflower] Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum Review

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I haven’t posted a review of a serum for…. God only knows how long. Ages, it seems. So I’m coming to you with the review of this Bellflower Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum. I received this product from Bellflower’s founder for review purposes but even though I got it from the brand itself, all opinions in this review are mine and only mine. So, with that being said, let’s jump to the review!

 

About the product

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Bellflower is a rather unknown brand as it’s fairly new on the market. According to their website, they’re a brand that provides products which are intensive solutions to skin problems with an emphasis on ”naturalistic ingredients of EWG safety grade not including artificial scent and colors” and the ”necessary quantity of ingredients” rather than their number. And all that with a packaging that is simple and eye-pleasing.

When it comes to the product itself- the Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum– it is a serum that aims to contribute to making skin healthy, elastic, moisturized and smooth. The health and elasticity of the skin are meant to be aided by Adenosine, Hibiscus Flower Extract, 7 type complex of Peptides and Collagen, while the moisturizing and smoothness effect is meant to be achieved with the help of Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice and Acorus Calamus Root Extract. That’s the only information on the serum’s packaging. On the official website of Bellflower, there’s a bit more information on the product (you can also buy it from there, just by the way) so if you’re interested, you can have a look. However, I’ll use some of the information from their website below to address the ingredients and texture so you won’t miss much.

So! Let’s proceed to the ingredients, my favourite part of reviewing skincare products.

 

 

Ingredients and Texture

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Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Glycereth-26, Dipropylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Glycosyl Trehalose, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Arginine, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Carbomer, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Gardenia Florida Fruit Extract, Xanthan Gum, Adenosine, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tremella Fuciformis (Mushroom) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Acorus Calamus Root Extract, Perilla Ocymoides Leaf Extract, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Caprylyl Glycol, Wheat Amino Acids, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Copper Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Natto Gum, Hexapeptide-9, Nonapeptide-1

 

So. The good and the bad. Let’s go.

 

The good:

  • the ingredients in bold are the ones mentioned in the product description above (the ”staple” ingredients) and all of them are in the product, which is a big plus (I’ve seen products which claimed to have/not have certain ingredients and the ingredients list was showing something different)
  • contains Adenosine (supposedly there’s 0.04% of it in the product) which has proven anti-wrinkle benefits (makes the skin look younger and smoother) and Hibiscus Flower Extract (there’s meant to be 15,000 ppm of it in the product, according to the serum’s packaging and the Bellflower’s website) which contains AHAs (gently exfoliating acids), and a powerful antioxidant in the form of vitamin C, helping the skin look fresher, healthies and more evenly in tone. Plus, there’s also Niacinamide (2% in the product) which helps to brighten the skin.
  • contains 4 types of peptides (especially copper peptides) that encourage collagen production helping the skin stay elastic (as we age the amount of collagen in the skin diminishes)
  • contains Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice that has soothing and antioxidant properties, as well as Acorus Calamus Root Extract that’s meant to smooth and help to moisturize the skin
  • there are also a variety of other skin-beneficial plant extracts (e.g. Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract) and oils, such as Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil which has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties
  • there’s no artificial colouring or artificial fragrance
  • almost all ingredients are green-rated on CosDna meaning they’re safe to use on the skin

 

The bad:

  • it contains essential oils and while some of them are beneficial to the skin, others such as Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil can make the skin oversensitized; CosDna yellow-rates Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil and Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil in terms of safety, so although they have the potential to provide the skin with benefits, at the same time they may result in negative effects on the skin
  • there are two ingredients which have a rating of 1 (the lowest but of some significance nevertheless): Butylene Glycol for acne and Carbomer as a skin irritant
  • there’s Hydrolyzed Collagen in the serum which, although it doesn’t have any negative impact on the skin, it doesn’t bring in much either- collagen particles are too big to penetrate the skin to reach the underlying structures and stimulate the new collagen production

 

 

 

 

When it comes to texture, it’s very runny (almost water-like), pink-ish (sometimes it looks more reddish to me) and has quite a strong citrusy smell. It seems to be due to the Lemon and Orange oils mixed with other oils (Lavender, Basil and Clary) so it certainly doesn’t come from any artificial fragrance.  The serum absorbed super fast with every application, even faster than my essence which is more watery. It also didn’t leave any sticky feeling so I could easily apply my moisturizer on top of it.

 

 

 

 

My thoughts

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I got this serum over a month ago and for a month I’ve been wondering what actually are my thoughts on it. As much as I love the ingredients list that is packed with skin-beneficial ingredients (especially peptides!), I haven’t seen any significant difference in my skin since I started using it. The only noticeable change I noticed is that my skin felt thicker. After a month there’s been no change to my wrinkles either (yes, I do have wrinkles despite my age) but maybe I’ve had too high hopes. Or maybe a month hasn’t been enough for the serum to show its full potential. I’ll keep using it and maybe when more time passes by I’ll see a difference to my wrinkles and will update this review.

As for now, though, I can voice my full thoughts on other features of the product. I love how fast the serum absorbed every time and didn’t leave my skin tacky. It’s quite runny and spreads very well and so one or two drops were enough to cover my entire face. It comes with a small pipette which makes it very easy to get the product out and the bottle itself is made of glass which ensures the ingredients stay stable. I already mentioned that, but I’ll say it again- I’m a big fan of the ingredients in this serum (although some of them may have a negative impact on the skin, such as some essential oils). I’m a dry and sensitive skin type but I haven’t experienced any negative effects.

Overall, I do like this Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum from Bellflower. It had positive effects on my skin: moisturized it well, made it thicker and more radiant. However, what I counted on the most when I started using it was an improvement to my wrinkles. It hasn’t done much to them but I’ll continue using the serum and I’ll continue having hopes- maybe after two months of using it I’ll finally notice some changes.

 

If you liked the post, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook where I post daily. And if you’d like to buy me a cup of coffee or support me with running the website, there’s a donation button on the right side of the site. Thank you! 😀

[Some By Mi] Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream Review

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Dear beauties! My apologies for such a long period of being quiet here, on the website. A lot has happened that affected me physically and mentally and I just needed some time to deal with everything that has been put on my shoulders. I’ll try to come back to posting weekly as soon as possible, so please just bear with me.

Going back to the topic of this post- I’ve been on a lookout for a new sunscreen for quite a while now. I’ve been trying to find a mineral sunscreen that doesn’t leave a white cast, isn’t drying/breaking me out and isn’t very expensive. It almost seemed like a non-existent sunscreen, like an ideal that hasn’t been invented yet. Fortunately, it exists (and maybe there are even more of them just waiting for me to discover them) and I was lucky enough to start looking for it now as it was launched not so long ago. However, it will be a topic of another review. 😉 Before that, I’d like to talk about another sunscreen which I found just before I discovered my holy grail of sun protection. The review of today’s post is based on my experience with Some By Mi Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream SPF 50+ PA++++.

 

 

About the product

Unfortunately, the packaging of the Some By Mi Truecica sunscreen was predominantly in Korean. I’m not proficient in Korean in any way and so I was relying on the product description on the website from which I bought it- YesStyle (which I started to love, by the way). According to it, the benefits of this sunscreen are as follows:

 

  • A tri-functional product: UV Blocking + Whitening + Wrinkles Improvement.

  • With UV Blocking index SPF50+ PA++++ to block out both UVA/UVB.

  • Its non-nano factors will not absorb by skin easily while provides 100% of physical UV blocking.

  • With 85% of moisture essence, its lotion-like texture gives no white cast finish.

  • With 10,000ppm of Truecica™ for skin soothing, protection and skin barrier reinforcing.

  • No use of artificial fragrance, colourants and 20 harmful ingredients.

 

 

Does the sunscreen live up to those claims? Let’s find out by starting with the ingredients first.

 

 

Ingredients and Texture

Ingredients: Purified Water, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Zinc Oxide, Silica, 1,2-Hexanediol, Niacinamide, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Water, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Stearic Acid, Orange Peel Oil, Lauroyl Lysine, Disodium EDTA, Acrylate/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Lavender Oil, Adenosine, Centella Asiatica Extract, Artemisia Vulgaris (Mugwort) Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Madecassoside, Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, Madecassic Acid

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The ingredients in bold in the first ingredients list are sun filters (Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide). The ingredients in the green colour are Tea Tree (helps with acne) and Centella Asiatica’s derivatives- a plant which is known to be the source of active ingredients famous for their healing properties. Now, some good and some bad of the Some By Mi Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream’s ingredients.

 

The good:

  • As the screenshot of the ingredients list taken from CosDna shows, all of the ingredients are super safe, although three of them (Stearic Acid, Butylene Glycol and Zinc Oxide) might potentially, although unlikely, trigger acne.
  • The claim from the YesStyle website that holds the sunscreen contains ”10,000ppm of Truecica™ for skin soothing, protection and skin barrier reinforcing” may be somewhat true as the ingredients in that technology are Centella Asiatica and Tea Tree. The ingredients in the green are just those, meaning there are quite a few of their derivatives in the sunscreen, although it’s hard to say in what concentrations. That being said, the sunscreen seems to be a great option for sensitive skin.
  • It doesn’t include many harmful ingredients (20, according to the product description) such as parabens, artificial fragrance or Phenoxyethanol.
  • It contains two mineral sun filters (Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide) which are good for sensitive skin as there’s a smaller chance of a breakout. Plus, they provide broad protection against both UVA and UVB rays for longer than chemical sun filters most of which are less photo-stable.
  • Due to Centella Asiatica and Niacinamide it contains, it’s got some anti-aging and whitening properties.

 

The bad:

  • As already mentioned, three ingredients might cause breakouts (Stearic Acid, Butylene Glycol and Zinc Oxide, especially the first one).
  • There are some ingredients which may potentially trigger a fungal acne: Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate and Stearic Acid

 

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When it comes to the texture, the Some By Mi sunscreen’s consistency is very much lotion-like. White in colour and with a strong medical scent (I guess Tea Tree and Centella Asiatica may be the culprit here as there’s no fragrance in the cream) it spreads incredibly well. It’s not thick or greasy like many other mineral sunscreens out there and although it leaves a white cast, it is minimal. However, in my experience a least, it doesn’t layer up well so I had to remove it before re-applying it to avoid it rolling on my skin. I don’t know how it would work with makeup (I’ve read positive comments on that) but because I tend to splash loads of sunscreen on my skin (I’m a sunscreen freak that is very pale and doesn’t like the sun at all) I couldn’t put another layer of it 20mins after applying the first layer. So I’m not sure if putting makeup on top of it would work for me either.

 

My thoughts

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The verdict?

One of the things that I loved about this Some By Mi Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream is how well it calmed my sensitive skin. No matter how sensitive my skin was on any particular day, when applied, it instantly calmed/cooled down any redness or any small inflammation I was struggling with that day. I believe it was due to the already mentioned Truecica™ technology that contains derivatives from Centella Asiatica and Tea Tree, helping to balance (sensitive) skin and heal it. Although Centella Asiatica and Tea Tree gave out a very strong medical scent which I didn’t like at the beginning, I got used to it pretty quickly so it didn’t bother me that much later on.

Another thing that I liked about Some By Mi Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream was how well it spread (like melted butter on a bread slice, without any better comparison) and its minimal white cast compared to many other mineral suncreams I’ve tried to date. It was also very lightweight and non-greasy which made wearing it comfortable and there was no hair sticking to my face (which by the way drives me crazy, especially when it’s windy outside). I think the ease of spreading, non-stickiness and the fact it was really lightweight can be attributed to the fact that the suncream was designed to be lotion-like with ”85% of moisture essence”.

What’s more, because the sunscreen’s ingredients were super safe and contained only mineral sun filters, not only I was provided with a broad UV spectrum protection (SPF 50+ PA++++) but I didn’t experience any breakouts or clogged pores. And! The suncream didn’t contain lots of ingredients considered unsafe, including parabens or artificial fragrance, giving it a big plus and making it a good sun protection product for people with sensitive skin like me.

However, there are two things which I didn’t like about the sunscreen. The first one is how it layered up… which could be hardly done. As already mentioned, I don’t wear makeup but when I wanted to reapply the sunscreen the first layer from the first application started to roll leaving weird white powder-like streaks. So whenever I wanted to reapply it, I had to remove it all, apply a moisturizer and then I could put it on my face again. All of that took me well 10mins (or more) with every re-application which was particularly annoying as at work I had only 30min breaks during which I had to have my lunch and do other pressing things.

The other thing I didn’t like was that it was a little bit drying. When applied on top of a moisturizer, it wasn’t tragic but I wouldn’t recommend wearing it on its own if you have dry skin like me. And as we all know, there are days when you’re in a hurry and you have to stick only to the most important skincare steps and in the morning, at least for me, it is a solid amount of sunscreen on my face and neck which is the best protection against aging. That’s why when I bought it, I made sure I had another, tested sunscreen at hand to use when in a rush.

Overall- did the Some By Mi Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream live up to its claims? I’d say 99% ”yes”. I’m leaving 1% for a ”no” as there are certain things which cannot be tested with only using the product such as whether the sun filters’ particles were nano (as opposed to non-nano) or how much of the Truecica™ was in it. But I find it a very good sunscreen nevertheless. Maybe not so much for dry skin, but certainly it may be for normal/combination or even oily skin. That’s all from me. Just for the very end of this article:

 

Where you can get this sunscreen if you’re interested (I bought mine from YesStyle so I can vouch for it but I haven’t used the rest- I heard good opinions about them and so I added those stores to show you the options. Always make sure that you buy from the trusted distributor):

YesStyle

Jolse

Sweet Corea

Beauty Net Korea

 

If you liked the post, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook where I post daily. And if you’d like to buy me a cup of coffee or support me with running the website, there’s a donation button on the right side of the site. Thank you! 😀

[Fascy] Wave Tina Aqua Mask Review

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Hello and welcome (some of you again), my dear beauties! I visit my local TKMaxx store very often and although I usually have to fight myself to not buy anything as I already have too many products, often I simply succumb to it as the urge to buy is too strong. A few days ago I gave up to that urge again as I found a very promising box of sheet masks. The sheet masks were Wave Tine Aqua Masks by Fascy- they came in a box of 10 for £6.99, making each just £0.70. So! Let’s dive into the review straight away!

 

 

About the product

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I must admit, when I bought the box, I didn’t really pay much attention to what this sheet mask was designed to do. 👀 I was only guided by the ingredients list. However, this is what the packaging had to say about the sheet mask’s function:

Fascy Wave Tine Aqua Mask is formulated to supply moisture energy to the dry skin, to boost skin’s moisture by forming moisture membrane on the skin, and to keep skin always bright and smooth. Cellulose mask sheet features excellence in adhesion, clarity and less skin irritation, without adding mineral oil, artificial coloring matter, silicon, paraben and ethanol.

 

So the sheet mask, 100% made of cellulose and with no mineral oil or others undoubtedly unattractive ingredients, was to mainly moisturise the skin, with some additional smoothing and brightening effects. All good and everything, but… Hmm…I’m not so sure about the ingredients the mask was NOT supposed to have, as will become clear down below. Despite that, it certainly did some of the things it claimed. But about that- below!

 

 

Ingredients and Texture

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Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glycereth-26, Butylene Glycol, Betaine, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Aqua, Xanthan Gum, Adenosine, Psidium Guajava Leaf Extract, Rosa Hybrid Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Fragrance, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ceramide 3, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Lactobacillus/Soybean Ferment Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Cinnamomum Cassia Bark Extract, Origanum Vulgare Leaf Extract, Chamaecyparis Obtusa Leaf Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ethyhexylglycerin, Cholesterol

 

When it comes to the ingredients list, here are the good and the bad of it.

The good:

  • there’s a variety of botanical extracts (9 in total) which provide a variety of skin-beneficial antioxidants and Lactobacillus/Soybean Ferment Extract
  • it contains Betaine which balances the skin’s hydration, Adenosine that has anti-wrinkle (helps to smooth wrinkles) and soothing benefits, and Ceramides (Ceramide 3) which help to keep the skin supple by forming a barrier to prevent moisture loss
  • there’s also Sodium Hyaluronate which acts as a humectant (attracting the moisture from the environment), making the skin well-hydrated
  • the ingredients list is quite clean and safe as the majority of ingredients are non-irritant, don’t cause acne and are green-rated, at least according to CosDna

 

The bad:

  • there are two ingredients which a yellow-rated: Fragrance and PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil so if your skin doesn’t tolerate those, I’d suggest precaution if you want to try out this sheet mask; and also, it breaks one of the sheet mask’s claims as it was supposed to contain no “added mineral oil”, but… isn’t PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil just that? 🧐
  • one ingredient (Butylene Glycol) might cause acne (although unlikely as it’s got the lowest rating of 1 at CosDna)

 

In terms of texture, the essence the sheet mask is soaked in is transparent and liquidy- not too watery, not too creamy.  Just in between. It does take its time to absorb as I had to wait a few minutes before I could continue with my routine. It also leaves a tacky feeling. Not as heavily tacky as some masks I’ve tried, though, so I could top it up with my daily moisturizer without any discomfort. I suppose it was that moisture “membrane” mentioned in the product’s description that made my skin a bit sticky.

The mask’s white sheet also adhered very well and was well-soaked in the essence to the extent it was dripping and there was plenty of the essence left in the packaging. No qualms about that here.

 

 

My thoughts

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So what do I think about this sheet mask? Well, I think it did was it claimed to do. It hydrated my skin and moisturized it pretty well. Although I do think that the mask was more moisturizing than hydrating. I’ve tried some sheet masks designed specifically to hydrate the skin and when I think about the end effect of them and compare them to this Fascy Wave Tina Aqua Mask, they made my skin plumper and more bouncy than this sheet mask. On the flip side, Fascy’s mask moisturized my skin better than those other sheet masks- as already mentioned, it formed a thin layer that locked in all the goodies my skin had absorbed and, although a bit tacky, didn’t irritate me at all, and I could still top it up with my moisturizer.

In addition to a pretty good moisturizing effect, I did notice my skin became a little bit brighter. I’m very pale in general and don’t have any discoloration on my skin but I did have a few pimple scars when I used the Fascy’s sheet mask which, after I’d taken it off, became lighter in colour.

However, although the sheet mask didn’t irritate my skin, what I didn’t like were those few yellow-rated/irritant ingredients (Fragrance, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil and Butylene Glycol). I’m always trying to avoid anything potentially harmful to my skin (is it just wishful thinking?) and, well, I thought that this sheet mask was supposed to not contain the mineral oil, so seeing PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil was a bit of a disappointment.

All in all, I do think Fascy Wave Tina Aqua Mask is a really good moisturizing sheet mask, packed with beneficial ingredients, fully-soaked in the essence and well-adhering. However, I didn’t find it anything special and so I won’t repurchase. It’s a fairly good mask, don’t get me wrong, but I do think my regular moisturizer does a really good job at moisturizing as well and I prefer to stick with it. I think a sheet mask should give something more, that extra boost that you can’t get out from your everyday skincare products. 🤷🏼‍♀️

 

But if you’re interested in trying it out, you can find it in those places:

Your local TKMaxx

YesStyle

eBay*

 

If you liked the post, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook where I post daily. And if you’d like to buy me a cup of coffee or support me with running the website, there’s a donation button on the right side of the site. Thank you! 😀

 

*Affiliate links

 

 

 

 

[Missha] Aqua Peptide Custom Skin Care Toner Review

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My lovely beauties! After using it for 5 months, I thought that it’s high time I introduced you to my most recent toner- Missha Aqua Peptide Custom Skin Care Toner, found on RoseRoseShop during one of my sale fevers. Here we go then!

 

About the product

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So. The packaging doesn’t say much about the toner, at least not in English. T^T Nor does the website where I got it from (RoseRoseShop). But what it does say, reads as the following:

This refreshing toner helps balance and prepare the skin for skincare steps that follow. Dermatologically tested.

And that’s it. That’s all that is in English on the packaging and the website. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ There’s not much in terms of claims and therefore there’s also not much to expect from the toner. Just that it is supposed to balance the skin and prepare it for the skincare steps that follow. Let’s jump to the product itself then and let’s have a closer look at its ingredients list and texture.

 

 

Ingredients and Texture

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Ingredients: Opuntia Ficus Indica Stem Extract, Propanediol, Centella Asiatica Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Algae Extract, Eclipta Prostrata Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Tremella Fuciformis (Mushroom) Extract, Agave Tequilana Leaf Extract, Harpagophytum Procumbens Root Extract, Lilium Candidum Flower Water, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Water, Glycerin, Schizosaccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Fructooligosaccharides, Beta-Glucan, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate, Maltodextrin, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer,  Hyaluronic Acid, Magnesium Chloride, Sorbitan Laurate, Nonapeptide-1, Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Copper Tripeptide-1, Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Hexapeptide-9, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Fragrance, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol

 

Before I bought this Missha toner, I made sure I had a proper look at the ingredients list to avoid disappointment. In the past I ditched the toner step in my routine as toners used to dry my already dry skin so much that I didn’t see any point in continuing with a step that only deteriorates the condition of my skin. However, one day I was browsing sale items on RoseRoseShop and I came across Missha Aqua Peptide Custom Skin Care Toner and because it was quite cheap, I had a closer look at it. When I saw how many skin-beneficial ingredients it has, I knew I had to buy it. And so I did.

It’s got 11 botanical extracts, Centella Asiatica Extract being among them (a very potent antioxidant source that promotes skin healing, including mitigating some visible effects of sun damage), 5 types of Hyaluronic Acid which is a great humectant and a wonderful hydrating ingredient (and because there are 5 types of it, there’s a higher likelihood of its thorough penetration to the skin and therefore it working wonders) and loooooads of peptides (10 of them! Crazy!). And, ladies and gentleman, this is just a toner. JUST a toner, a toner that is to balance the skin and prepare it for more concentrated doses of skin-enhancing ingredients contained in serums, ampoules, lotions, etc. Apart from botanical extracts, Hyaluronic Acid and Peptides, there are also other star ingredients such as Schizosaccharomyces Ferment Filtrate (brings suppleness and softness to the skin), Beta-Glucan (soothes the skin) and Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate (God, the name is a little tongue twister but it’s been shown to boost the skin’s production of HA that decreases with age, so it’s a no joke).

Although back then, when I was buying this Missha toner, I wrongly thought that the first ingredients on the list are in the highest concentration, I still think that it is a product with an impressive ingredients list. It’s quite long for a toner and a huge majority of the ingredients is super safer for the skin and extremely beneficial- not only because it’s got loads of good ingredients but, as mentioned, there are also a few types of certain ingredients (Hyaluronic Acid and Peptides) making your skin covered.  👍

According to CosDna, all ingredients are safe (with the exception of Fragrance) and only two ingredients might potentially cause any irritation/acne (Butylene Glycol Sorbitan Laurate) but they both have a very low irritation/acne rating (just 1) and although I have a sensitive skin, the toner has never broken me out, despite using it for 5 months. Also, on a side note, for people prone to fungal acne, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate might trigger it, according to Skincarisma, so just a word of caution.

 

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In terms of texture, the Missha toner is just like water in consistency and absorbs SUPER fast. Like, very VERY fast. I always have to apply it on my face quickly before it absorbs into my hand’s skin (I don’t use cotton pads as they irritate my skin- I prefer applying it with my bare hands). Upon application, it doesn’t leave any stickiness but makes the skin look plumper and more bouncy. However, it’s not moisturizing enough so it’s important to follow up with other skincare steps to ensure proper moisturization as the toner only hydrates.

 

 

My thoughts

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I need to admit that- after years of disliking and not using toners, I got to like this one quite a lot. It’s got an amazing ingredients list which is very clean and safe. As already mentioned, it has never broken me out nor caused any other skin issues (which my sensitive skin is very grateful for). It’s got great hydrating properties as it’s always left my skin bouncy and plump straight after application and the results have always been visible the next morning as well. It hasn’t made my skin feel sticky or heavy so I can always proceed with my skincare routine without any concerns and, because it absorbs so fast, I’ve never had to wait God knows how long before applying my FROM NATURE Age Intense Treatment Essence. It also certainly balances the skin and prepares it for the following skincare steps as I noticed it reduces significantly any tightness or/and redness I get after cleansing my face.

Missha Aqua Peptide Custom Skin Care Toner is certainly a toner worth checking out. It’s very hydrating in a non-sticky way (as opposed to many toners that contain alcohol and leave the skin feeling very dry), it does what it’s supposed to do (balances and prepares the skin for the next skincare steps), it’s beneficial for the skin (with all those skin enhancing ingredients discussed above) and it’s largely safe for the skin.

Would I repurchase? Certainly. As for now, though, I won’t- I bought it in February this year and I still have half of a bottle left despite using it very generously every day. :O So one more pro- if you want a toner that lasts ages, this one will be your friend for a looong time.

 

Where you can get it:

eBay*

RoseRoseShop

YesStyle

 

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*Affiliate links

[muju] Sweet Animal Mask- Unicorn and Zebra Review

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I like trying new things. Especially things that are fun or cute, or both. And the muju Sweet Animal Masks seemed so cute and fun to use that I had to try them (although the Unicorn one was rather creepy than cute- the packaging was cute but the mask itself made me look quite… scary). I got those two masks from my mom in Poland (hence Polish print on both of them) but they were made in South Korea and so as a k-beauty addict I feel I have a duty to say what I think about them. And so here’s the review.

 

muju Sweet Animal Mask- Unicorn

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First, in order, comes the muju Sweet Animal Unicorn sheet mask. In terms of what it is designed to do, its packaging says, quite appealingly I must admit (I really liked how the brand described both masks in such a smooth way; comments in the square brackets mine):

When your skin is dry, matt, and you wish you could shine [oh, yes, baby, bring it on], it’s time to meet our Unicorn. This sweet animal contains ingredients that help to moisturize, brighten and smooth the skin.

Carrot Root- repairs, smooths and moisturizes the skin, protects and facilitates tanning.

Panthenol- regenerates and smooths the skin.

Star Anise- has purifying, depigmenting and anti-irritant effect.

Thanks to the printed sheet, the mask is more efficient and fun.

 

Ingredients: Water, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Panthenol, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Erythritol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Allantoin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Hydroxyacetophenone, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Parfum (Fragrance), PEG-14M, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Natto Gum, Disodium EDTA

 

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After a long and productive day at work, I wanted to shine. So bad. So I put a Unicorn Mask on my face (sometimes I wonder how far I can go to enhance my skin) and became a unicorn for 15 minutes. The muju sheet mask was well-soaked in the serum (although there wasn’t much of it left in the packaging)… and was huuuge. As you can see in the picture above, the upper part of it was sticking out well beyond my forehead. However, although big, the size did bring the mask to life more than if it’d been smaller as the unicorn horn looked as if it’d been coming out of my forehead. And the sheet mask adhered surprisingly well to my skin as well. Not to mention the fun the print brought me when I was putting it on my face and then while I was taking sweet, sweet selfies.

In terms of the ingredients, most of them are clean. There are only a few which had a yellow CosDna safety rating (PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Parfum (Fragrance), PEG-14M, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil). And the staple ingredients were right at the beginning of the ingredients list making me hope there was a considerable amount of them as opposed to other ingredients.

The effects? My skin did look slightly brighter and definitely less dull. It was well-hydrated and moisturized (I should start distinguishing those two, honestly) but despite that I still put a layer of my moisturizer on top of that to finish off the whole routine. The sheet mask left only a slightly tacky feeling (nothing bothersome) and brought some healthy look to my skin.

I really liked it, although I looked..creepy.

 

 

muju Sweet Animal Mask- Zebra

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After trying the muju Unicorn mask, the next evening I tried the Zebra one. This is what its packaging had to say about its main purpose:

When you notice first wrinkles and fine lines [mine have been with me for a while now T^T] or that your skin loses its elasticity [welcome to my world, luv], it’s time to meet out Zebra. This sweet animal contains ingredients that help to plump out wrinkles and to add back firmness and smoothness.

Fig Extract- has firming, moisturizing, and anti-aging properties and stimulates the collagen synthesis.

Collagen- helps to add back moisture, smoothness and elasticity.

Witch Hazel Water- regenerates the skin, improves blood circulation and has anti-aging effect on the skin.

Thanks to the printed sheet, the mask is more efficient and fun.

 

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ficus Carica (Fig) Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Panthenol, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel Water), Allantoin, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxyacetophenone, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Hydroxyethylcellulose, PEG-14M, Natto Gum, Erythritol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium EDTA, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Parfum (Fragrance), Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal

 

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To be completely honest, this sheet mask had a much worse ingredients list than the Unicorn one as there were more yellow-rated ingredients. However, I enjoyed muju Sweet Animal Mask Zebra more than the Unicorn one. Why? There are two reasons. First, I didn’t look creepy but actually quite cute (wouldn’t you agree?). Second, to my eyes, it gave out much better effects. My skin was as well-hydrated and moisturized as with the Unicorns sheet mask but somehow it looked better (healthier, more even toned, plumper) after I took off. Which makes me wonder- was it the result of the Fig Extract that was fourth on the list (praying here that there was a considerable amount of it in the essence and that it wasn’t just a marketing trick)? If so, then the Fig Extract becomes my number one skincare ingredient from now on. ❤

 

 

I’m looking forward to trying more of such funny/cute/creepy looking sheet masks. If you have any ideas what sheet masks I should try next, let me know in the comments!

 

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[The Face Shop] Natural Sun Eco Inorganic Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+ PA +++ Review

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Hello, my lovely beauties! Today I’m coming to you with a review of my first ever sun stick! When I started my journey with k-beauty not only were k-beauty products largely unavailable in the part of the world where I live, that is, Europe, but there was no sight of face sunscreen in any other form than a cream. I’ve been keeping an eye on sunscreen in a stick for quite a while but I decided to purchase one only fairly recently. Why? The sun sticks have been relatively expensive in comparison to many sun creams and they have largely been made with chemical sun filters which don’t work very well with my skin- that’s why I always opt for sunscreens with physical filters (I ordered a few new physical sunscreens this week so keep an eye on this space as I’ll post reviews of them this month). But! I finally found a sunscreen stick that contains only physical filters (The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco Inorganic Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+ PA +++) and I’m just about to share my thoughts on it with you. ❤

 

About the product

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The simplest way to describe this product is to say that it’s a sunscreen that comes in a stick (wow). And I could actually stop here. But, according to the packaging in which my sunscreen came, this The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco Inorganic Sunscreen Stick not only ”features inorganic [that is, physical] UV filters but also Calamine powder which helps to calm the skin” and ECOCERT certified Sunflower Seed Oil (for moisturization, I suppose). It doesn’t contain animal-derived ingredients, parabens and was dermatologically tested. But that’s pretty all about the product.

 

 

Ingredients and Texture

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Ingredients: Butylene Glycol, Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Ceresin, Synthetic Wax, Triethylhexanoin, Phytosteryl/Isostearyl/Cetyl/Stearyl/Behenyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Aluminum Stearate, Ethylene/Propylene Copolymer, Diisostearyl Malate, Alumina, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Calamine, Dimethicone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Quaternium-18 Bentonite, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Parfum/Fragrance

 

In terms of the ingredients, the matter is more complicated. To this post, I usually approached the ingredients lists of the products I bought in the way that I would approach any other European food/beauty product where the ingredients are placed in the order of their predominance in a product. So when I saw something as a fourth/fifth/sixth ingredient, I would think that there’s quite a bit of it in the product. However, recently I came across a few posts, fanserviced-b.com and theklog.co among them, that talk about the differences between the US and Korean ingredients lists. I’m not going to go deeper into that topic now, because that’s not what the post is about, but the key takeaway is that anything in 1% or below in a Korean skincare/beauty product can be listed on the ingredients list in ANY order. Which means that, although the first three or four ingredients (probably) may predominate in the product, anything from half down to the bottom of the list may come in various amounts and if something is higher up on it doesn’t mean there’s more of it in the cosmetic. This is something I learnt only quite recently and it makes me feel like a fool, to be honest with you. There were so many times when I bought a Korean skincare product only because the ingredients list looked really well. I suppose, those products’ formulations weren’t something I thought they were. But, there we go- we can only learn from our mistakes (PS. European skincare/beauty products have to list all the ingredients in a descending order of their concentration in a product- so what’s the last is the least (source here)).

But getting back to the ingredients of The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco Inorganic Sunscreen Stick- I can only be partially certain that the first few ingredients at the beginning are in the highest concentration in the sun stick and those are: Butylene Glycol, Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide. The last two are physical UV filters that effectively deal with both types of UV rays- UVA and UVB. The rest of the ingredients may be placed in any order and God only knows how much of each ingredient in the stick- including the ECOCERT certified Sunflower Seed Oil and Calamine powder. So even though the product’s description stresses the product contains those two ingredients, it’s certainly possible that there’s less than 1% of each of them in the sunscreen, making me think that whether or not the sun stick contains them, doesn’t really matter- their ”positive” effect on my skin would be so minuscule that I would see no difference. (◔_◔)

According to CosDna and Skincarisma, the ingredients list as the whole is relatively clean and safe. There’s one silicone (Dimethicone) and Butylene Glycol that have a comedogenic rating of 1 (quite low) and there’s also Fragrance in it. Skincarisma also adds that the Sunflower Seed Oil can trigger fungal acne so I’m really not convinced that this ingredient should be so praised in the product’s description. (〜 ̄ △ ̄)〜

 

 

 

The sunscreen’s texture is interesting, though. It’s white and very solid with a kind of floral scent. The sun stick is quite small (20g half of which is probably the weight of the packaging itself) but very convenient to hold. To get it out there’s a thingy at the bottom (for the lack of a better word for it) to turn. The stick’s surface is rectangular with rounded corners, relatively wide. The surface’s shape, however, makes it quite difficult to apply the sunscreen in places where precision is needed such as around the eyes. And the texture of the sun stick makes it really difficult to glide at the beginning- once there’s one layer of it the stick rolls easily but to get there, you have to be careful not to stretch the skin too much (again, especially around the eyes). Upon application, the sunscreen leaves only a slight white cast but it does have a shiny finish which drove me crazy- my face shined as if it’d produced tons of sebum. But, but, all of the ranting in the section below.

 

My thoughts

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And now, finally, here comes the time for my ranting. Let’s start off with the positives, though, because I feel like this The Face Shop Sunscreen Stick deserves that. What I liked about it is the hands-off experience you get with it. No need to make your hands dirty with the sunscreen (or a beauty sponge if you’re like me and apply a sun cream with it most of the time) and no need to make your hands clean before you can make them dirty. Which saves time, water (you have to wash your hands before and after the application) and doesn’t put you off when it comes to the sunscreen re-application. I loved that aspect of this product. I could just grab the stick, roll it out and put it on my face. What I also liked about it was that it contained ONLY physical/inorganic UV filters. Which meant broad and solid UV protection and my eyes didn’t sting which often happens when the chemical filters start to come off my face when I use chemical sunscreens. However! That’s where the good ends.

The bad. Oh, the bad. First, let me say that the ingredients list wasn’t anything impressive. Although it doesn’t reflect the ingredient concentration, it does reflect what’s in the product. And apart from the two UV filters and the Calamine powder, there’s really nothing skin-enhancing in it (I don’t think the Sunflower Seed Oil is good, especially not for my sensitive skin). I’ve tried much better sunscreens in that respect.

Another thing, the application process, although partly extremely convenient, was at the same time nightmarish. The stick didn’t want to glide easily at the beginning so I had to put multiple layers of it to be sure I spread it properly- I didn’t want to stretch my skin too much so every time I started the application process very gently and always thought I didn’t cover my face with it evenly. After the first application in the morning, there’s wasn’t much of a white cast left and no white streaks either. Just the shiny effect (which, by the way, made my skin imperfections more prominent). But upon first, second, third re-application my face looked worse and worse. Whiter, with more shine and more and more streaks with every re-application, so that at the end of the day I look as if I saw a ghost and sweat like a pig. Sorry for such a comparison, but that’s the only one that came to my mind. To add to all of that, I love the idea of a having a sunscreen in a stick, but I don’t think it’s very hygienic unless you wash your face before every application- I noticed a variety of pollutants stuck on my stick (nothing major but visible nonetheless) which I think, in the long run, would break me out. But that long run probably won’t happen since after 1.5 I used quite a lot of it. I stopped using it for a while but as I return to it, in the next one or two weeks I should be run out of it.

Those would all my thoughts (at the moment) on this innovative The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco Inorganic Sunscreen Stick. I liked some aspects of it but I disliked the rest which, to be honest, were in the majority. I certainly won’t repurchase this particular sunscreen stick but I’m in love with the idea of using a sun stick in general, so I’ll keep looking for a better sunscreen in this form. Till next time!

 

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